China Mobile's Capex Blowout

Ray Le Maistre
3/15/2013

China Mobile Ltd. gave the industry a shot in the arm late Thursday, announcing a 49 percent year-on-year increase in its capex for 2013 to 190.2 billion yuan renminbi (US$30.6 billion). Of that total, 42 percent, roughly RMB80 billion ($12.9 billion), will go into its mobile networks (packet core and radio access network infrastructure). The operator noted that 4G investments, which in China Mobile's case means LTE TDD, will account for just more than half of its mobile capex, so about $6.5 billion. Naturally, that's going to get the vendors already identified as preferred suppliers -- including Alcatel-Lucent, Ericsson AB, Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd., Nokia Siemens Networks and ZTE Corp. -- very excited. (See China's 4G TD-LTE Launch Kicks Into Gear.) News of the capex hike came as China Mobile announced its 2012 results. But as Light Reading contributing editor Robert Clark notes in this blog, there's more on China Mobile's mind than its bottom line and 4G spending. To find out what's keeping China Mobile Chairman Xi Guohua up at night, check out Clark's blog. — Ray Le Maistre, International Managing Editor, Light Reading

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